FFXIV: Why Are Healers So Grouchy?

Disclaimer: I’ve played as a healer quite a bit the past month or so. This isn’t an article about getting down on healers, cuz I know they don’t have an easy job. This is just an observation piece. 

whitemagePlace: FFXIV Leveling Roulette 

Okay, I’ve had some pretty rough tanks in the past. Some were learning, some didn’t care as long as they finished the dungeon and leveled from it.

I’ve also had my share of DPS that didn’t carry their weight, or did some incredibly dumb things.

But I noticed very often, if there’s going to be a job that gets annoyed over petty little things, it seems to be the healer. So I’m wondering, why so many grouchy healers?

I had an experience last night during roulette. At first, I wasn’t going to blog about it because this healer was a real killjoy. But then I thought back on all the experiences I’ve had in dungeon running, and I saw a theme. Many times, if someone is going to be over serious, condescending or just plain rude, it’s been a healer.

Brayflox NoFun

I’m working on leveling Zuri’s Dragoon to 50 right now. Seeing she just hit 44 last night, almost every single time I run roulette, I’ve gotten Brayflox this week. There was one random Titan, but mostly Brayflox. So that’s the first meh.

Last night’s group was interesting because it was all folks who appeared to be leveling their HW classes. We had a Dark Knight, Machinist and Astrologian. I didn’t know how this was going to roll, but we were doing fine. The run was smooth, I was putting out good DPS, interrupting AOEs for the party, and felt like I was performing pretty darn good.

So, on the third boss, Hellbender the salamander thing, you get him down to a certain point and the dragon, Aiatar, drops down and takes him out. Then you tangle with Aiatar for a short while before he flies away.

The fight went fine, and when Aiatar dropped down, I noticed we had a full limit break bar. Because we were blowing through the content pretty quickly, and I was just curious what would happen, I popped the limit break on Aiatar. And boom! The dragon fled to the skies instantly, leaving me feeling kinda cool about that FOR SCIENCE! moment.

Yes, I know, the scenario with Aiatar is scripted part of the fight. I know we didn’t have to do massive damage to it to make it fly away. But I also knew this tank was doing a full run of the dungeon, including all the chests and sub-bosses, and we were moving through it without much issue. So we’d have most of the LB back by the time we reached the final boss (and we did).

Out of nowhere, the healer sneered at me, “Dude? Really? You LB the dragon?”

seriousI was thinking… Whoa? Really? Serious much?

Then I calmly responded, “It finished the fight faster and we’ll earn the limit break back.”

He didn’t say anything else, but man, that little snark really put a damper on the rest of the run for me. Note: We did just fine on the final boss. There was a limit break to pop. So there was no danger at all in messing around a little bit. And I even got a commendation at the end, so someone didn’t think I did too poorly.

Now, if this team had been struggling, there’d be no way I’d have done that. But we weren’t. It was all good fun. And the healer was all grouchy and nasty for nothing.

Past Runs

Thinking back, I remember a number of times when it was the healer who really grouched during dungeons and made the run rough.

My first Brayflox Hard Mode. My first ever try at a hard mode. I was scared to death, running it as a fresh level 50 Bard. I tell the team, “Hey, I’m new, but I watched the video.”

Healer groans, “Oh, just kill me now.”

The tank adjusts, and takes pulls slowly because he has a new player on board. The healer blows up at him for not doing a speed run, “I’m not here for sightseeing!”

When the tank doesn’t respond and doesn’t give desired speed run, the healer drops dungeon in the middle of a pull and lets the party wipe on purpose. Then the other DPS also dropped. That was it, I thought, my first hard mode run shattered just because I happened to be a new person to the dungeon. 🙁

I expected the tank to drop, too, and even thanked him for being patient with me, but he didn’t! In fact, he stayed there with me and waited for the party to reform, and we finished the dungeon without issue. That unexpected kindness from the tank was something I didn’t forget, and the nastiness from the healer was also something I didn’t forget.

Okay. That’s just Zeb. And he’s not usually too mean to Zuri. 🙂

My first run of Snowcloak, because I needed it for story progression. Again, on Zuri’s Bard. It was me and a Ninja as DPS. And the healer did nothing but chide, “LOL! You call this DPS?” “Man, where’s the deeps? So slow!”

He berated us all the way through, though neither of us said anything to him. I could tell the Ninja was getting annoyed, and at the end, even the tank said, “Man, what a jerk!” after the healer left.

So What’s Up With This?

I don’t expect healers to have infinite patience, and respect the job they do, but wow. My most memorable bad moments in this game have been when I was a DPS who was berated by healers. Granted, in the past two and a half years, bad moments are much more rare than good. So this doesn’t represent healers, nor even the community, as a whole.

Maybe they’ve just forgotten how to have fun? It’s a game. People don’t have to play absolutely perfectly 100% of the time. If I did something that caused a wipe or made the run awful for the rest of the party, that’s a time I’d expect to hear a little lip from someone.

But when I’m performing to the best of my ability, have proven to be a somewhat decent DPS… come on. Lighten up a bit! Have fun!


  1. Maybe because they sit back and have an overview of the fight that is primarily focused on the players, and how much damage each is taking, instead of the mobs to be killed.

    So ‘mistakes’ end up being magnified in their eyes and since they don’t have a damage role in a holy trinity game, they’re encouraged to separate themselves off into a different category from the hoi polloi DPS and end up with an “us vs them” mindset?

    Or the whole stereotype of healers as clerics and priests = long suffering saints and martyrs has some kind of subconscious effect on player behavior…

    • Aywren

      Maybe so. But in FFXIV, healers are encouraged (almost expected) to put out some DPS as well. A good healer will switch to Cleric Stance and DPS as much as they can while balancing the health bars. Of course, this depends on whether the tank is geared and skilled enough to do that, but for the most part, I’m always switching between heals and DPS as a White Mage. Even in raids.

      • I’ve been surprised at how much time I can spend in Cleric stance while leveling my daughter’s Scholar up in dungeons. Even Stone Vigil the other night I spent at least half my time doing dps on trash, and even more on the bosses. I noticed this in the HW dungeons on my own character too — the bosses actually put out less damage than the trash (overall — it’s a bit more spiky), so I’ve got more time to do damage while in boss fights.

        • Aywren

          I was surprised by that, too. My healer friend reassured me that for a good tank, all she needs to do is throw a Regen on them, flip to DPS, and flip back to heals near the end of a trash fight or during large attacks on bosses. I thought she was nuts, but now that I’ve worked on healing, it’s pretty true.

  2. Playing the healer, especially in random groups, can wear you down. With friends you can plan and communicate better. With randoms you get what you get. I often start out in such a group with the statement that I am going to keep line of sight on the tank at all times, so if anybody else runs off they just aren’t going to get healed. And still that rogue runs off ahead and gets in trouble and dies and gets angry that I didn’t run off to heal him while was doing something he had no business doing. And that doesn’t even get into the tired “help me help you” routine of casters seemingly unable to not stand in the fire.

    And when you wipe, and you see in the scroll back that nobody bothered to use a potion or a health stone or their self-heal skill, it is just “heal better healer!”

    It is a setup that fosters an air of grouchiness. But I am kind of grouchy already, so it probably suits me.

    • Aywren

      I can totally understand being disgruntled by DPS who run around with no clue of what to do crying “Heal me!” or blaming the healer for wipes and rough runs. While I haven’t played healer for years and years, I did start out as a healer in FFXIV and returned to it lately to learn more about it.

      The cases I’ve experienced, though, no one was doing anything wrong in particular. In fact, the run last night was super smooth with very few annoyances, aside from the healer who wanted to jump on me for doing something that didn’t even effect the run as a whole.

      As I wrote, if I was being a bad DPS, running off, face pulling, getting out of healing range, I could see it. In fact, I’m quite good at staying out of the red circles and even self healing in the case of getting accidental aggro or a mis-step on my part. I was putting a lot of effort into being a team player last night which is why it hit me so hard to get berated instead.

      • Wee Heavy

        It’s not you it’s them.

        I main as a healer, and I love it. I even like pugs, and especially enjoy new players who are seeing content for the first time.

        What’s more, a smooth run is pretty dull for a healer. Healers are given an amazing toolkit for when things go pear shaped. Our boss fights aren’t always scripted because it’s other players. Some people love it, and others don’t.

        When I see this attitude I always just assume the healer is a bored dps on an alt. Doubly true if they’re kibitzing your role as dps.

        As a healer I do not care, outside of progression, what the dps is or when limit break is used. Even then pointing it out has little to no benefit to the group.

        I have allot more to say, but this is already too long. Suffice to say the dps equivalent to this is someone who doesn’t watch threat, stands in stuff so they don’t mess up their rotation, and then bitches at the tank for not holding threat or the healer for not topping them off. I’m sure they would be just as grouchy playing as a tank, but likley put off by the responsibility and scrutiny.

  3. Because, in their eternal war against the forces of death…

    They know they are losing.

  4. I didn’t spend any time running dungeons in FFXIV at max level because I pretty much hit 50 and stopped playing and I never had any issues in dungeons while leveling, but thinking about dungeon runs generally I can’t say that I’ve noticed healers being more problematic than other roles.

    I’ve played all three roles myself in just about every MMO I’ve done group content in and being a jerk seems to be an equal opportunity employer amongst all role types. I’ve seen generous players and I’ve seen condescending players as tanks, healers, and dps so in my experience it’s been less about role and more about particular games being worse than others. My time in FFXIV was generally pleasant whereas the last time I returned to WoW it made me sick how much vitriol I saw in leveling dungeons. SWTOR was somewhere in the middle, but certainly more good than bad. If your overall experience in FFXIV is like mine was, that might be why these encounters have made such an impression; they are an infrequent acception to the rule.

    I’d be curious to hear if a lot of other FFXIV players have had the same experience though. If so, then maybe that role in this game attracts the “pro” MMO players who don’t have patience for new players or even “sub-optimal” ones (whatever that means). At least with your most recent example, I think some of the problem is that theory crafting and encounter guides while extremely useful have created this culture of “one right way to play” and those who subscribe to it will view everyone else as “doing it wrong.”

    • Aywren

      Yeah, I agree that every role has their equal opportunity trolling from time to time. I’m not even counting what I see in 24-man raids and such, because those are a lot less personal. Things can get pretty snarky there, but I can ignore it better since it’s not directed right at me like in roulette.

      It’s true that if I can pull up only three situations out of my memory of playing for over two years, that’s a pretty good ratio of good experiences to bad. It’s just odd that it seems the ones that have snapped at me most have been healers.

      I guess I ask for it running Dragoon or something. We’re not exactly considered top players due to silly class stigma. XD

      • You probably just have too small of a sample size. 😀 I can’t say I’ve noticed healers being more commonly the grumpy ones in my runs.

  5. I think often, the snarky bastards also tend to be the ones that revere the goal of optimising rewards and take it as a personal affront when others aren’t cooperating. In FFXIV, that would mean getting quick queue times for roulettes, which means queueing as tank or healer. So the snarky dps or speedrunning, uncommunicative tank might be the same person in different runs. I’d guess the grumpy healers are, too.

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